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Following in the footsteps of Rimbaud

Between sky and land in the former Abyssinia.


Images of the unchanging and ancient landscape of Ethiopia have been brought to life by Swiss photographer, Benoît Lange, at an exhibition of his pictures in Fribourg.

Entitled "Abyssinia - between sky and land, the path taken by Arthur Rimbaud", the exhibition is a photographic record of Lange's journey through Ethiopia, just over a century after the French poet made a similar trip across the country.

Like Rimbaud, Lange visited the lost city of Harar near the Somali border, and was captivated by the scene, untouched over centuries.

The photographs being exhibited - all black and white - are featured in a book which is peppered with quotes from Rimbaud, an adventurous character who as well as writing poetry was also a trader and gunrunner in Abyssinia.

Like Rimbaud, Lange has had colourful life. He went to what is now Ethiopia after being banned for four years from India for shooting a clandestine film in the slums of Calcutta. His assignment there had been to draw attention to the plight of the slum-dwellers and the help they were being given by the "street doctor" Jack Preger.

The "Abyssinia - between sky and land exhibition" exhibition is at the cantonal and university library in Fribourg until January 13.

by Richard Dawson

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